Today's preview looks at a pair of minis with some obvious similarities -- female, multiple limbs (wings count, right?), snake tails from the waist down, Large size, Chaotic, Rare, and pretty cool. Straight from the Monster Manual, I bring to you the D&D Miniatures Game incarnations of the Lillend and the Marilith!
The Lillend is an art-loving, bardic outsider from the domains of Ysgard. Lillends vigorously defend art and the expression of art. Their fondness for natural beauty is coupled with an enthusiasm for squeezing the life out of art critics (or at least those who would destroy art). I just hope they understand that not everyone has the same opinion on a given work of art, and that no artist can please everyone -- but I wouldn't want to suggest that to a Lillend's face. (I may not know art, but I know what I like -- and breathing is on the list.)
At any rate, we wanted the skirmish version of the Lillend to focus on what might normally be considered her "noncombat" abilities, emphasizing things such as charm person. Previous incarnations of charm person never really delivered the goods -- the saving throws were typically low, and even a target that failed the save might still get to act normally. A guaranteed effect such as Stun is much better. The same issue arose with the Succubus -- we wanted a creature that could reliably make an opponent fight for her.
Instead of using the more random charm person, we created a new ability called Beguile. When the Lillend (or the Succubus) uses Beguile, the target creature takes an immediate turn under your control, provided it fails its saving throw (the Lillend is a bit better at Beguiling than the Succubus, at least without help).
We also provided the Lillend some spells to reflect her bardic abilities, though we mixed them up slightly from the MM entry. The one that should get CG fans excited is her 1st-level remove fear, which automatically rallies a routing creature within 6 squares. Her spells and abilities, combined with a reasonable damage output (two swings for 15 magic damage each) and an incredible fly speed of 10 squares, make the Lillend an intriguing 44-point addition to CG warbands. Her biggest weakness is fragility -- she can't stand up against multiple hits from heavy hitters. Let those hitters get close, though, and they'll have to contend with Beguile.
The Marilith has long been one of my favorite demons. Something about the six-armed, half-woman, half-snake fiend captured my imagination, and nearly all high-level games I run end up involving a Marilith at some point. Now that have Marilith minis, I can't wait to spring them on my unsuspecting (assuming they don't read this column) PCs. They're a few levels too low right now, so I have plenty of time to scheme up their demise …
In general, we try to simplify a creature's D&D stats when we 'port them to the minis game. A creature with multiple attacks (claw-claw-bite, for example) might be reduced to a single attack that represents its likely, overall damage output. We do this for speed of play but also because it is often more interesting if a creature has one attack for 15 damage than many little attacks that deal only 5 apiece. Even the six-armed Aspect of Hextor from War Drums was reduced to only four attacks. The Marilith's six attacks, however, are part of what make her special, so we kept them all. Grab a six-pack of dice, because you'll roll them all when she starts swinging!
We did provide the Marilith with some abilities from her fiendish heritage. True seeing becomes Blindsight in the skirmish game, and she keeps some energy immunities as well as DR and Spell Resistance. She has enough hit points to stand against tough foes like the Horned Devil or Pit Fiend -- for a couple rounds, anyway.
But six attacks with Melee Reach 2 are what make her fun to play. To maximize the number of times you get to make those +15 attacks, we also included Enhanced Mobility 2 so she can move 1 or 2 squares and still use all of her attacks. At 73 points, she occupies the space of two typical hitters in a Chaotic Evil band, but she more than makes up for it with her ability to julienne opponents.
Seems like that's enough for this week. By this time next week, your local game store might already have the promotional poster up in the window so you can see Blood War in all its glory! Also, don't miss the UnCon minis chat being held next Tuesday (check the UnCon schedule for more info). Ask me questions about D&D Minis, and ask Matt about the Maug! In the meantime, I'll see if I can scare up something to put into next week's preview slot.
About the Author
Stephen Schubert is a Developer in RPG/Minis R&D, Lead Developer for the D&D Miniatures Game, and has worked on a variety of D&D game products, including Monster Manual IV, Tome of Battle, and Magic Item Compendium. He is the author of the upcoming Eberron super-adventure Eyes of the Lich Queen.